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Issue 08, 2008 (01 August)
 Policy and Law

Plastic Ban Extends to Restaurants and Garment Stores

Following the implementation of the Administrative Measures for the Paid Use of Plastic Shopping Bags in Retail Outlets on 1 June this year, the Ministry of Commerce, National Development and Reform Commission, and State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued a set of supplementary opinions in July adding service retail venues such as eateries to the list of plastic ban.

According to the supplementary opinions, product retail outlets stated in Article 2 of the Measures refer to venues operated by enterprises and individually-owned businesses providing service of product retail.

Also according to the supplementary opinions, Article 2 of the Measures provides that the plastic pre-packed bags of raw and fresh food must not have carrying function and must comply with the standards applying to food packaging. Apart from food products, plastic package bags for other products provided by the manufacturer before the products enter the retail channel which come with individual pieces (sets) of products and comply with the relevant national standards are also considered pre-packed bags.

The supplementary opinions stipulate that all plastic shopping bags purchased from production enterprises (wholesalers or importers) before the announcement of the General Technical Requirements for Environmental Protection, Safety and Marking of Plastic Shopping Bags on 16 April can continue to be used until 30 September 2008 upon presentation of purchase proof, provided that the plastic bags comply with the safety, health and concentration stipulations in the Requirements and do not bear the plastic label, environmental statement and safety statement.

The supplementary opinions also stipulate that bags made of different kinds of material provided by product retail venues to customers must be purchased from legally established manufacturers, wholesalers or importers. The retailer must obtain the relevant certifications and documents from the supplier and open a relevant sale and purchase account for future inspection. Product retailer venues may not receive from any organisations, groups or individuals on a gratis or paid basis any bags that come from unknown sources, bear incomplete labels, and whose designs and wordings do not comply with national standards and regulations.